May 2008 Industry Recognition
They say blogs are written for the blogger — I know I’m working too much and neglecting my blog when all I have is “ego posts.” That said, if you get an ego moment might as well share it.
Marketing Direct’s survey of the 100 most powerful people in UK direct marketing.
1. BEN LANGDON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, DIGITAL MARKETING GROUP.
Ben Langdon ranked 10th in our list of power players last year – but his company was only about six months old. One year on, he is living up to his “ruthless” reputation. He is a true power player with a single-minded focus for his operation: to become the pre-eminent digital direct marketing group in the UK. The company remained in acquisition mode over the past 12 months, buying digital creative agencies Hyperlaunch and Graphico for a combined £12m. Langdon aims to offer the complete suite of skills at DMG – and he doesn’t underestimate the importance of data for truly interactive digital marketing. “Many agencies in London simply try to be advertising agencies,” he says. “The real power is in the data you capture – that’s why we bought Jaywing.”
With recorded pre-tax profits of almost £6m in the 12 months to March 2008, the company has achieved a lot in a short space of time, winning Digital Direct Marketing Services Supplier of the Year 2007 at the Connect Awards.
2. PETER RILEY, FOUNDER AND CREATIVE PARTNER, 20:20 GROUP
Last year, Peter Riley ranked fourth in our list of 10 digital direct power players. Since then 20:20 Group has continued to innovate, and has been rewarded for its efforts. Laughing at comments about his “healthy ego” (“Well, my Mum says it’s true …”), Riley and his group has been courted by many large agencies in recent months.
Over the past year, 20:20 has won a place on the COI roster and led the digital strategy and creative work for the Department for Children, Schools and Families’ teenage pregnancy and safe sex campaign. It also won the brief to launch the Terminator TV show on Virgin 1, while its work for PlayStation has notched up awards including a Cannes Lion and two DMA Golds. Meanwhile, Riley converted a Grade 2-listed East End church to house the company, and says he has currently got his eye on another property.
3. MARK PATRON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, RED EYE
Veteran direct marketer Mark Patron is proof that data geeks can make the best digital gurus. As CEO of online marketing company Red Eye, he is championing the integration of traditional DM principles with digital approaches. His passion for bringing measurability and accountability into the online arena was pivotal in Red Eye sales reaching £4.4m last year, up from £1.7m in 2005. Red Eye was also listed in The Sunday Times’ Tech Track 100 league table in 2007, confirming its position as one of the fastest-growing new technology companies in the UK. After 14 years at Claritas, now Acxiom, and having launched DMjobs.co.uk, Patron always has his finger in numerous pies and is described as a “master of reinvention” and a “serial entrepreneur” by peers. “He just keeps coming back for more,” says one.
4. JOHN BAKER, JOINT MANAGING DIRECTOR, IRIS DIGITAL
There is no doubt that John Baker is a heavyweight in the world of digital DM. Previously head of digital at OgilvyOne, and now joint MD of Iris Digital, his unassuming manner belies enormous industry knowledge and know-how. At OgilvyOne, Baker was a member of the management partner team that won Campaign’s Direct Agency of the Year – in large part due to its strength in digital marketing. Not content with routinely winning business from digital pure-plays, he oversaw the introduction of an email marketing group and the hiring of Skip Fedura, ex-director of European operations at Digital Impact, to lead the initiative. Baker says he was attracted by Iris’s “entrepreneurial nature” – and that he is looking forward to “big growth”.